New Port Talbot academy will help more get into work
A COMMUNITY building in Sandfields has been renovated, in a bid to get more Port Talbot people back to work.
NSA Afan's Community Employment Academy was officially opened yesterday by Communities and Tackling Poverty Minister Jeff Cuthbert, who unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion.
Based in Dalton Road in Sandfields, it will help people develop their skills so they can find employment, including interview skills and how to write CVs. NSA Afan is a Community Regeneration charitable company with a vision to tackle poverty affecting those who are economically inactive or unemployed.
The organisation delivers the Communities First programme in Sandfields and Aberavon.
The team has been active in identifying the needs of the community and in drafting the bid to the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) Fund which is operated by the Big Lottery in partnership with the Welsh Government. The bid was successful and the project was awarded £500,000 to make the refurbishment scheme possible. Christine Esposito, Communities First cluster manager said: "The Communities First team had identified employment as a significant need in the community. We worked hard to win the Big Lottery award.
"This facility will act as focal point to help alleviate the impact of unemployment on people's lives."
Ian Isaac, NSA Afan's chief executive said specialist organisations who engage with the long-term unemployed would also be housed in the building. AM Jeff Cuthbert said he was pleased to launch the service, adding: "On previous visits I have seen for myself the real difference this project is making to people's lives by helping them find work in these tough times."
Work on the transformation began in February and in six short months the building is now fit for purpose.
Ron Leaf, Communities First employment engagement officer thanked the contractors for a superb job that everyone was proud of.
John Ridd of GreenBuild Consult who provided the technical support team for the project said: "It has been a pleasure working on this building and I'm glad it's going to be a community facility for years to come. I remember my mother and grandmother using the building back in the 1980's with their coffee mornings and bingo sessions.
"I feel a connection with the place and the people of Sandfields will be proud of the place and its achievements."
NSA Afan thanked the Big Lottery for the funding to help them achieve their vision.